XVFC concluded the International
Workshop in India on Financing of Disaster Risk Management on 13 November ‘18 in
The two-day conference discussed
various issues related to Disaster Risk Management (DRM) ranging from
urbanization, climate change, coastal erosion, localized catastrophes and the
price associated with it, among many other issues.
It was also suggested that Disaster
Mitigation must be an integral part of development expenditure; and, of course,
the need for a Disaster Mitigation Fund also came up for discussion.
Chairman of XV Finance Commission
Shri N.K. Singh in his closing remarks said that there has to be clear
understanding of what exactly 'Mitigation' means in an environment of
multilayered risks (High Frequency, Low Impact and various other combinations).
He also said that there is a need to
rework the ways in which funds can be collected for disaster risk management,
both on tax and non-tax front. Impact on revenues of state govts due to GST is
important as states are the first responders in case of any disasters. How
should the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) be funded in GST era, Issue
of cess on GST for the purpose of funding disaster response are some policy
level issues on which GST Council may have to take a view.
This is not only the issue of
earmarking of funds for DRM but also to ensure that funds earmarked are used
for DRM like in case of funds devolved to states on account of Forest cover.
Deciding on conditionality for use of such funds is a tricky thing.
Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary DEA in
his closing remarks urged the Commission to come up with a structure to make
Disaster Mitigation an integral part of development expenditure..
Dr. P. K. Mishra said that issue in
funding arises due to the different nature of mitigation activities
(non-contingent) and relief activities (contingent needs-depends on scale of
Conference also discussed various
sources of funding Disaster Risk Management viz. Finance Commission devolution,
NDRF, SDRF, crowd sourcing, CSS, CSR and funds from multilateral institutions
and enhancing their utility. Role of insurance companies and the issues
associated were also discussed in terms of risk transfer. It was also suggested
in the conference that FC should look at institutions that enable federalism to
strengthen Horizontal Exchange of resources and expertise between the states
during the times of disasters.
It was also opined that a Country's
credit risk is impacted by presence or absence of disaster resilience in
policies and the resultant losses. Criteria for deciding the quantum of
NDRF/SDRF is a key question. DRM needs are very diverse as they include relief,
recovery, resilience, mitigation and therefore need careful consideration in
decision making which in turn depends on availability of suitable data,
analytical tools and replicable models.
Experts agreed that any resilience
model may be started in Pilot mode and then scaled up. Funds for DRM will
require resources and investment not only from govt. but also from private
sector, NGOs and civil society.
Participants including Ms. Fracine
Pickup, Country Director, UNDP and Dr. Junaid Kamal, Country Director, World
Bank India thanked the Chairman and members of the Commission for organizing
the International Conference on DRM in India and bringing together ideas,
models and expertise from across the globe.
Ms. Fracine Pickup said that
disasters and development are inextricably linked. Investment that is resilient
to disaster risk, sets a pathway for Sustainable Development. She mentioned
that UNDP has introduced the concept of 'Risk Index of States' to guide
resource allocation and enable policy commitments to specific DRM
interventions. Dr. Junaid Kamal said that in a rapidly urbanizing nation, it
would be to the country's advantage to invest in building disaster resilient
infrastructure which will eventually help lower the cost of impact.